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Road Market … The Unending Nightmare


THERE are many commodity markets within the FCT, both within the city centre and the satellite towns. In the metropolis, the popular Wuse, Utako and Garki markets lead the pack. They are well built with different segments where goods are sold in shops while the foodstuff segment is usually located at the back in open spaces.

In Wuse market, though it is located at the back of the main market, the foodstuff segment has a roof over it while fruit sellers stay outside in front of the large shed. These markets are fenced round with car parks for visitors.

In the satellite towns, however, the atmosphere is different. The markets are located in open spaces along the road; and that is where traders display their wares.

This situation causes traffic congestion and slows human and vehiclular movement. In Karimo, the market is located along both sides of the road and traders display all kinds of goods and foodstuff. The traffic is usually heavy every Tuesday, which is the market day.

In Mpape, the situation is not better; perhaps, worse than what obtains in Karimo. Residents say the situation is made worse by the non-availability of other roads within the town. The market is located on the only road in Mpape and road users are not comfortable with the attitude of traders in the area.

According to Jude Obinna, the town has only one road that serves as both entry and exit; and sellers display their products on the road thereby obstructing free flow of traffic. Another resident, Denis Eke said that “those selling at the market display their products on the road and any attempt to caution them might lead to violence.”

In Karu, the situation is the same. Sellers display all manners of wares on the road while buyers who park their vehicles along the road also contribute to congestion in the area. In Maraba, though there is a place provided by the council authorities, the market usually extends to the roads, especially the Abuja-Keffi road.

In Masaka, a resident, Aidu Salif, said though goods and foodstuff are cheap, the market is in a sorry state and it is usually water-logged during the rainy season. Like Maraba, Masaka is located in Nasarawa State but is nearer to the FCT and accommodates a lot of Abuja’s workforce.

There are other markets within the FCT that do not obstruct traffic though, mainly because of their location. Kado Fish market, though located along Karimo road, is well built to enclose all activities within its walls. Yanya market is close to the road but activities of sellers and buyers are kept within the market as well.

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